i'm taking weekly flat and now weekly jumping lessons( don't worry its ground rails and crossrails ) with my trainer, and she is working on me using my core more. I collapse during the canter and during down transitions. I round my shoulders and straighten my elbows( she has mentioned I have disproportionately short arms) absorbing the energy with the wrong parts of my bosy...I am a re-rider of 6 months after about 13 years off.
I am a fairly fit person... i run 4 miles 4 days a week and lift weights. I also have a fairly strenous job( ER vet tech so I am always lifting the dogs and what not). I ride 5 days a week . So I am not sure its my core that is lacking strength,though it might because riding does use different muscles then just doing the "plank". Possibly its my upper back?
Its like I know I need to basically bring my shoulders back but i don't always KNOW when I collapse until she yells at me . What can I do to make this better? more riding? pilates?? I just started more ab work too. I joked I needed a 2X4 across my shoulers... but I was hoping maybe if walked with better posture it would help??? work my back and shoulders more?
I agree with the other posters: pilates/yoga - very helpful for the body awareness & core strength. Also, something I've found helpful is to not think about 'shoulders back', but instead lift up & out with the chest. That way, the shoulders follow & the core gets involved. I've been working with a trainer/phys.therapist on my posture & have found that reminding myself about this one simple concept during everyday life (I work as a vet tech too) has really helped & transfers into my riding as well.
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Yeah, yoga helped me a lot. Haven't tried pilates yet but I'm sure it works.
Maybe, along with body awareness as previously mentioned, you can think of 'the center [of gravity] is farther back than you think.' It is almost like exaggerating your position to prevent you from collapsing to the front.
on the broken record note: yoga, pilates, also ballet or modern dance will all help with the right kind of strength and body awareness, but it doesn't always translate to the horse immediately. You can also do back exercises like rowing etc while sitting on a swedish ball that makes you stabilize your core while using your upper back muscles